The scientists are using the drones with sophisticated cameras to analyse fossilised footprints of the prehistoric beasts which traversed areas in remote Western Australia (WA).
Unlike conventional aircraft, the drones can get within a few feet of the ground and hover so the cameras can take detailed pictures in inaccessible or difficult places where the footprints have been found.
The team is halfway through a three-year project to document hundreds of dinosaur footprints left along the West Kimberley coast in the far north of WA around 130 million years ago.
Head of the project Steve Salisbury said this month’s work focused on using a drone to get a bird’s eye view of the tracks.
“It’s allowing us to get up above some of the more interesting track sites, and get lots of good video footage, which is really exciting, and lots of fun,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“The drone allows us to get as close as we need to and customise the imagery we want, which is proving to be really, really interesting.”
The vision will be converted into 3D images by computer, and reveal the dinosaur’s movements.
Large circular imprints being examined were left by sauropods, while others are more bird-like, three-toed theropod prints.